Morning Joe | February 20, 2013
>>> joining us now with a look at the "politico playbook," the editor in chief, mr. john harris .
>> hello, willie. good morning.
>> good to see you. you guys are reporting about the koch brothers looking to do a little rebooting of their efforts to influence the political system starting with a shake-up at the top of their group americans for prosperity . what does it mean?
>> absolutely, this is a story by ken vogel who's got a better read on the koch brothers political organization . as you know, they're the financial engine of the conservative movement . what they've done after the election, obviously a really disappointing election for conservatives, essentially they've taken a deep breath. they're responding as businessmen. the koch brothers are both ideologues and billionaires. you don't get to be billionaires without being a good businessman. and they're responding as businessmen to this crisis. they've ordered an audit of their entire political performance and they've shaken up the organization at the top. the coo of americans for prosperity , they've parted ways with her. and essentially they're hitting pause on a number of their operations to see what worked, what didn't work. what ken makes clear is one they're they're not going to do is retreat. they're still going to be heavily involved in politics, but they're taking a hard look at precisely how to be involved and how to be more effective than they were in 2012 .
>> john, these audits are taking place across washington, crossroads, karl rove 's group, is doing the same thing. what will they do differently this time around after some of the failures of 2012 ?
>> both groups are fascinated by the success of president obama 's re-election and in general the superior effort that democrats have had in identifying voters and mobilizing those voters to turn out. so that's a similarity. where they're in conflict is the root cause . karl rove 's groups think the problem, they had too many unelectable candidates, too many extreme canned dates, too many fringe candidates. the koch brothers believe the success of the republican party and the conservative movement really is coming from the grass roots , not the washington establishment. so we're going to see these two financial engines of the republican party really at otd odds with each other over the next couple years.
>> john, it's dan senor .
>> hey, dan.
>> how much is the problem that one of the challenges facing the republican party is the ability to organize on the ground, technologically but also knocking on doors. the party because of the new campaign finance limits doesn't have the resources to do that well. and these outside groups, it's hard for someone to knock on the door of someone's home and say i'm for americans with prosperity, i want to get you involved. so it's hard for these independent groups to take over that responsibility where there was such a big gap in this election between republicans and democrats.
>> well, i think that's exactly right, dan. the only thing i would say, and you'll remember this as well, is that this advantage, this technological and mobilization advantage, swings back and forth between the parties. i remember after the 2004 election, i think i might have written this myself, about the big advantage that rove's re-election effort for president bush was going to give to republicans for potentially a decade or a generation. turned out to be total b.s. it didn't even last two years. so republicans certainly have the ability to get back in the game. but you're quite right, they're far behind in the game. and the weakness of the institutional republican party , the real republican party , not these outside groups, is a key cause of that.
>> as you say, john, probably taking some lessons from the obama for president campaign in 2012 .
>> john harris with a look inside the "playbook." thanks so much.
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